Counting the ways

Investigative reporter Dana Cooper applies some solid statistical analysis to three recent CDs by artists who call St. John’s home.


Lindsay’s solo album, released last December, has ten songs inspired by her personal experiences. Only one of those – “Creeps On By” is about romantic love. That makes 10% of the album – but there are several songs with roots in other kinds of love. It’s worth noting that deep emotion for nature, life, and family inspires its fair share of art in this world, but since this is Valentine’s Day, we’re limited to the narrow ‘lovey-kissey’ definition. 10% it is.


Of the fifteen songs on his latest album, only two (Dozen Beer and Where Love Goes) are about love (that’s 13%), and they’re both hurtin’ love songs. Blair explains, “I don’t have a reason to write happy love songs because I write therapeutically,” so when things are going well, there’s nothing to work out in song.

Blair’s favorite Anti-Love-Song Band: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds


I caught up with Rhiannon Thomas and Jimmy Lee Rose at the Ship last Friday for the Rock Can Roll opening. Their brand-new release has only five songs, and four of them (80%) are about “love or lack thereof.” Ok, three of those four are on the lacking side. Why? Rhiannon reckons, “when you’re hurting is when you’re inspired the most. You have more time, you drink more, pity yourself more.” Jimmy agreed, saying, “you write from the personal and it becomes universal because people have similar ways of dealing with love.”

Their favorite Love Song: Swearing at Motorists – “Flying Pizza”

The results (10%, 13% and 80%) are all over the map. It’s really too small a sample to infer anything from anyway. What’s more interesting is the prevalence of hurtin’ tunes over happy ones. St. John’s lyrical Papa Bear, Ron Hynes, sings, “heartache’s just another song” (from Do You, Standing In Line In The Rain). Maybe that’s explanation enough.


  1. cowpance · January 12, 2013

    RE Coast Guard-Flying Pizza by S.A.M. is an awesome song-LDo at Barnone always plays it for me,she even scribbled the lyrics on my fridge at my housewarming party!!